6 Ways Programmatic Native Differs From Display: Part 2

May 24, 2016

In the last post, I detailed the first 3 ways in which programmatic native differs from display: user-experience, commoditization of the inventory, and the post-click destination.Here are the remaining three and some advice for publishers.

In display, it is common to backfill direct sold (premium display) with third-party (programmatic display); the user experience is consistent and it is a known business model and practice.

However the same does not make sense with native; the user experience is drastically different. With premium native, the user will click to a piece of branded content within the publisher’s site. With programmatic native, the user will leave the publisher’s site and be taken to an advertiser’s site.

Premium native on The Telegraph 

Premium Native

Premium Native

Programmatic native on Yahoo! 

PremiuProgrammatic nativem Native

Programmatic native

They Don’t Share Measurement Standards
The metrics for which programmatic native and programmatic display are optimized are also messy.

Premium display and programmatic display are optimized and measured the same way – what was the reach (impressions, or more commonly these days: viewable impressions), and CTR performance. Premium and programmatic native are not.

Premium native is about the branded content experience and engagement, which could be pageviews, time-spent or social actions. With programmatic native, measurement is “how cheap were my clicks” and publishers end up doing embarrassing things when optimizing for clicks.

They Elicit Different Reactions From Readers
Programmatic native encourages a user to use an ad blocker – it is not a great experience being inundated with non-contextual programmatic advertising. Premium native does the opposite it is quality content, from a publisher source users’ trust, with an aligned advertiser brand users’ respect, keeping them on a publisher’s site and URL – instead of blocking it, a user is more inclined to share it.

Users trust premium native. Users do not trust programmatic native. By taking the same strategy as display, publishers will train users to not trust their premium native promotions either. Then organic reach to branded content on-site will plummet, leading to the purchase of additional traffic to hit exposure guarantees.

While networks and exchanges may obfuscate the major differences between premium and programmatic native, publishers must take note; one path leads to a future with seemingly sustainable revenue strategy and engagement with audiences, and the other looks an awful lot like a situation publishers found themselves in not to long ago with display.

Need to know everything about premium and programmatic native? Read Polar’s Whitepaper: A Publisher’s Guide To Premium and Programmatic Native:

Kunal Gupta is the Founder & CEO of Polar and a Founding Member of Publisher 2020. He leads a talented team transforming the media publishing industry with technology. Polar provides a technology platform that over 2,000 publisher sites around the world use to strengthen and grow their digital content marketing businesses. Connect with him on LinkedIn, Medium or Twitter.


JULY 2017

Polar’s Snapshot of Global Branded Content Performance presents the complete picture for major markets and publishers this past quarter.